Fear Mongering 101

Cross Posted From Article of Faith:

I’m not sure if the tears in my eyes this morning are from laughter or from sadness over how pathetic and trivial this rhetoric has really become:

Continuing the week-long violation of High School Debate Club 101, “President Bush said Thursday that withdrawing now from Iraq would leave Americans at risk of terrorist attacks “in the streets of our own cities,” and he cast the struggle against Islamic extremists as the costly but necessary successor to the battles of the last century against Nazism and Communism.”

Er, [sniffle]…I feel more tears…is it from weeping?

Bush “echoed allusions to the failed strategy of trying to appease Nazi Germany. He called today’s terrorists “successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists and other totalitarians of the 20th century,” and cautioned Americans against concluding that five years after the Sept. 11 attacks the threat had receded. “That feeling,” he said, “is natural and comforting – and wrong.”

LOL. Nope, it’s laughter alright.

Let’s get a few things straight (for the umpteenth time):

The “Islamic Terrorists” are not fascists.

They are not a military, nor do they represent a nation/state.

They have no authority to carry out “totalitarianism”, “authoritarianism” or any other form of power over other groups of people.

State Terrorism is the use of violence, generally without the support of law, by government officials as a way to control the population.

“Islamic Terrorists” don’t possess the formal organizations necessary to carry out such an exercise of power.

Therefore, they are not comparable to “Nazis”, “Fascists”, or “Communists”.

Their “ideology” is a religious one, not one borne of governmental or political beliefs.

They don’t “hate us because we’re free”; they hate modernity, which defacto means they hate everyone, including themselves.

Terrorism is an act of violence, or threat of violence, used as a political strategy, by an individual or dispossessed group of people.

Terrorism is a criminal tactic.

Terrorism is a crime, therefore Terrorists are criminals.

Criminals are not eradicated via the military; Criminals are eradicated through good intelligence and aggressive law enforcement.

Every case made against terrorists and terrorism in the past five years was made through law enforcement and various judicial systems throughout the world.

Nazism, Fascism and Communism were nation/state ideologies and were eliminated militarily throughout the 20th century.

Terrorists are criminals and will be eliminated through good police work in the 21st century.

“In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.” – Coleridge

The end.

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21 Responses to Fear Mongering 101

  1. Todd

    (Don’t know why I’m posting here… I’m just bored)

    By the definition you cite the movement of Islamic extremists and terrorism is EXACTLY facism.

    Fascism is a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.

    Here piece by piece:

    * radical – I assume we agree here. It is radical. Please say you agree here.
    * totalitarian – [a state] that “regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior.” No disagreement here I hope. (silence behind the jihab speaks volumes here)
    * corporatism – :”is a political system in which legislative power is given to civic assemblies that represent economic, industrial, agrarian, and professional groups.” See this fine paper of Iranian Corporatism.
    * authoritarianism – see totalitarianism above. Again, please say you agree with me here.
    * Militarism – “Militarism connotes the drive to expand military culture and ideals to areas outside of the military structure —most notably in areas of private business, government policy, education, and entertainment.” – Whatever you may think, a voluntary US Army is not militarism compared to mandated service and military and police measures in Iran.
    * anti-anarchism – “Anarchism is the name of a political philosophy or to group of doctrines and attitudes that are centered on rejection of government, or the state, as harmful and unnecessary and support its elimination.” Believe what you will but the nature of terrorism is not anarchism it is about the adoption of sharia law. The violent nature of terrorism is ordered, singular and not built on the rise up of the masses and certainly (though Iran certainly fears this) is not built on overthrowing the government.
    * anti-communism and anti-liberalism – ‘nuf said

  2. RightSideRedux writes:

    * radical – I assume we agree here. It is radical. Please say you agree here.

    Radical in comparison to what? To the Islamic faith that they claim to represent? Yes. In comparison to people who have engaged in terrorism for *thousands* of years? Hardly.

    * totalitarian – [a state] that “regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior.” No disagreement here I hope. (silence behind the jihab speaks volumes here)

    They control no nation/state apparatus to speak of. You can’t exert totalitarianism if you don’t control the mechanisms (government) to enforce it.

    * corporatism – :”is a political system in which legislative power is given to civic assemblies that represent economic, industrial, agrarian, and professional groups.” See this fine paper of Iranian Corporatism.

    Sounds right, but again, they control no “legislative power”, which renders the point moot.

    * authoritarianism – see totalitarianism above. Again, please say you agree with me here.

    And again, they are in position to exercise authoritarianism over anyone (save, perhaps, the followers of such ideology).

    * Militarism – “Militarism connotes the drive to expand military culture and ideals to areas outside of the military structure —most notably in areas of private business, government policy, education, and entertainment.” – Whatever you may think, a voluntary US Army is not militarism compared to mandated service and military and police measures in Iran.

    You are moving the goalposts. Al-Qaeda is not Iran. Iran is not al-Qaeda.

    * anti-anarchism – “Anarchism is the name of a political philosophy or to group of doctrines and attitudes that are centered on rejection of government, or the state, as harmful and unnecessary and support its elimination.” Believe what you will but the nature of terrorism is not anarchism it is about the adoption of sharia law. The violent nature of terrorism is ordered, singular and not built on the rise up of the masses and certainly (though Iran certainly fears this) is not built on overthrowing the government.

    We also disagree there. Terrorism is, at its most fundamental tenets, *anarchy* first.

    * anti-communism and anti-liberalism – ‘nuf said

    We agree there. I suppose the terrorists don’t like communists or liberals, which probably makes them Conservatives, doesn’t it? [snicker]

  3. Radical in comparison to what? To the Islamic faith that they claim to represent? Yes. In comparison to people who have engaged in terrorism for *thousands* of years? Hardly.
    If you equate terrorism with violence then yes thousand of years, otherwise, you are mistaken.

    They control no nation/state apparatus to speak of. You can’t exert totalitarianism if you don’t control the mechanisms (government) to enforce it.
    Ummm… Iran. Former Taliban regime in Afghanastan…

    Sounds right, but again, they control no “legislative power”, which renders the point moot.
    Ummm… Iran, Hezbollah (who has a seat in the Lebanese parliment).

    You are moving the goalposts. Al-Qaeda is not Iran. Iran is not al-Qaeda.
    Hey, your the one moving the goalposts. Show me where you mention Al-Qaeda in your original post. Terrorism was YOUR operative word. Please see the offical list of terrorist groups by the State Department

    We also disagree there. Terrorism is, at its most fundamental tenets, *anarchy* first.
    Your only valid point. But I think mine is also good.

    We agree there. I suppose the terrorists don’t like communists or liberals, which probably makes them Conservatives, doesn’t it? [snicker]
    Cute. Nice reply. Are you implying that as a progressive Democrat then, you side with the terrorists? Or you are a terrorist [snicker]

  4. “We agree there. I suppose the terrorists don’t like communists or liberals, which probably makes them Conservatives, doesn’t it? [snicker]
    Cute. Nice reply. Are you implying that as a progressive Democrat then, you side with the terrorists? Or you are a terrorist [snicker]”

    Right-wing “logic” on display, huh. I guess when you have nothing what can you do though…

    So by your “logic” you are saying as a progressive Democrat that he must hate liberals? Yep interesting logic there. Lets see…the terrorists don’t like liberals and neither do conservatives, so if anything, that would more logically indicate that Islamic terrorists are conservatives. And of course in fact they are very very conservative.

    A liberal/progressive has the opposite beliefs of and is the enemy of both the far right and all religious extremists, both Islamic and Christian. You know, the enemy of way too many on your side who now make up much of the current GOP base, leadership and media propagandists. Who seem to share many of the same “values” and beliefs as the old European fascists and the same type of religious beliefs and tolerance as the Islamic fundamentalist extremists do. Of course, I just go by their rhetoric, the beliefs they espouse and the policies they say they want to enact…

  5. Sorry to interrupt but that was just too stupid to pass on.

    Have fun with your new toy Todd. Don’t forget to mop up after you get tired of playing with it…

  6. Dave, I’m curious why you spent your time and effort on a [snicker] exchange between Todd and I rather than the meat of my reply: namely, that Todd’s original post denied any relation between facism and terrorism but that in subsequent posts he admitted his ignorance to the Iranian terrorist state.

    The threat is very real and is more that Al-Qaeda:
    see here

  7. RightSideRedux

    Thanks so much for sharing all the right wing talking points and links. It’s so generous of you. I’m not sure what you think you will accomplish? Some converts, maybe? Not.

  8. Pam,

    Your response (like Todd’s response, like Dave’s response) fails again and again to address anything I’ve said.

    Todd had a try at rebutting my “facism/terrorism” details and ended up with a slight point (which I conceded) that there is an element of anarchism in terrorist movements (albeit, I would argue that anarchism thrives on a mob mentality whereas Islamo-facist efforts focus on “freelance” jihadists in many instances). In the end, Todd was caught “moving the goal posts” on his definition of terrorism to exclude anyone but Al-Queda.

    Dave, ignored the grunt of my argument and ranted on about the logic of a concluding quip exchange between Todd and I.

    YOUR argument seems to be: “Move along you’re making us uncomfortable.” I mean honestly, I’m just looking for some interesting and intellectual exchange.

  9. RigthSideRedux

    Todd didn’t move the goal posts, you did. But hey we’re all familiar with that tactic from the right.

    Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Bush let that slip out recently, but he’s back on the talking point again in a new drive of Fear Mongering in hopes to win back the security moms and others who are finally seeing the light.

    The war on “terror” won’t be won militarily, even conservative pundit George Will conceded it that recently.

  10. One last thing on the goal posts:

    In reponse to my detail about Militarism and Iran, Todd replied: “You are moving the goalposts. Al-Qaeda is not Iran. Iran is not al-Qaeda.”

    I said that was not the case since Todd’s post was originally about Terrorism and didn’t even mention Al-Qaeda – (now that I re-read his post, he actually mentions State Terrorism).

    You are correct, Iraq had nothing to do with the events on 9/11. I noted the sparse and weak links between the two when the 9/11 Report came out.

    You say “Fear Mongering” I say “Telling it like it is” (aka, they are still trying to kill us – or was that UK plot just a Bush/Blair hoax?)

    George Will is correct, the war on terror won’t be won militarily, but it certainly won’t be won without the military.

    You see, you and I don’t disagree all that much now.

    (I’m still waiting for a rebuttal on the Islamo-facism post).

    Have a great night.

  11. Ginny in CO says:

    RightSideRedux Says:
    September 1st, 2006 at 11:22

    “The violent nature of terrorism is ordered, singular and not built on the rise up of the masses and certainly (though Iran certainly fears this) is not built on overthrowing the government.”

    RightSideRedux Says:
    September 1st, 2006 at 2:08 pm
    comments by Todd Mitchell

    They control no nation/state apparatus to speak of. You can’t exert totalitarianism if you don’t control the mechanisms (government) to enforce it.
    Ummm… Iran. Former Taliban regime in Afghanastan…

    Sounds right, but again, they control no “legislative power”, which renders the point moot.
    Ummm… Iran, Hezbollah (who has a seat in the Lebanese parliment).

    You are moving the goalposts. Al-Qaeda is not Iran. Iran is not al-Qaeda.M
    Hey, your the one moving the goalposts. Show me where you mention Al-Qaeda in your original post. Terrorism was YOUR operative word. Please see the offical list of terrorist groups by the State Department

    First you say terrorism is not built on overthrowing the government, then you say Iran is afraid of this, then that Iran is a nation state that apparently has enough control of the government by terrorists to exert totalitarianism and the terrorists hold enough legislative power to exert corporatism and authoritarianism. And Hezbollah, with a seat in the Lebanese parliament also has this level of power and control.

    Finally, “the offical list of terrorist groups by the State Department” is actually:

    U.S. list of state sponsors of international terrorism.

    State sponsors of terrorism and terrorist groups are not the same. The Taliban was a heavy supporter of terrorism – bin Laden especially, they exerted an ideological tyrrany over Afghanistan.

    Violence, extortion by terror (as in FEAR) and religious or ideological rationalization for the behavior has been around for as long as we can tell from historical records.
    The predominant terrorist group the US has focused on is Al Qaeda. You went in to a disclaimer about the US Army and Iran. The US is not fighting Iran about terrorism as much as it is the potential for a nuclear weapon – which it might give to the terrorists (when Mohammed returns..).

    The US fight against Al Qaeda was turned away from the true state sponsor – Afghanistan- to US military invasion (under orders) of a country that had virtually no links to terrorism (because it was controlled by an egotistical tyrant).

    The whole point of this post, Olberman’s comments and other responses to this rhetoric is that, in essence it is getting close to State Sponsored Terrorism. Induce fear – even if you don’t actually do the violence yourself, try to convince the masses that some other group will do the violence – so you can control the country.

    Sorry, we aren’t afraid of the terrorists. We are smarter, there are far more of us than them, we are more open to innovative thought, and we can control them.

    We take them more seriously than the idiotologists in charge because we know what will control them and what will really prevent us from having to fight them in the streets here.

    BushCo is clueless.

    Dave likes to play with mice. Pamela just acknowledges their presence.

    Some of us respond for other readers who have better comprehension of words and logic, and more open minds.
    You will not be convinced. But you can be exposed.

  12. RightSideRedux

    I’ve seen viable signs of a rise in fascism for years. It’s very disturbing, and disconcerting. I think we should all be concerned about the rise in fascism here and in other areas of the world.

    Here’s another view of fascism that shows that more succinctly, we or I should say the current regime, fits the fascist mold… and the Islamic terrorists are that terrorists and extremists.

    The 14 characteristics are:

    Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
    Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottoes, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

    Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
    Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

    Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
    The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

    Supremacy of the Military
    Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

    Rampant Sexism
    The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

    Controlled Mass Media
    Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

    Obsession with National Security
    Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

    Religion and Government are Intertwined
    Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

    Corporate Power is Protected
    The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

    Labor Power is Suppressed
    Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .

    Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
    Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

    Obsession with Crime and Punishment
    Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

    Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
    Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

    Fraudulent Elections
    Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

  13. Old hat stuff Pam. Just about every left-leaning blog out there links to that list.

    Personally, I like this one better:

    1- Powerful and Continuing Disloyalty towards their country
    2- Disdain for the others who express Patriotism
    3- Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
    4- In Favor of a Weak Military
    5- Rampant Obstructionism
    6- Liberal Mass Media
    7- Obsession with National Insecurity
    8- Keeping Track of US Casualties for their own Self-Serving Purposes
    9- Captured Terrorists Rights are Protected
    10- Military and Intelligence gathering Powers are Suppressed
    11- Disdain for the Average Hard-Working American
    12- Obsession with Comparing the President to Adolf Hitler
    13- Rampant Liberal Eliteism

    But you have yet to refute my Islamo-extremist-terrorist-fascist comparison – in fact, your list just goes to support my assertion that Iran is a terrorist fascist state.

  14. Ooops, left out 14:

    14- Falsley Claim Fraudulent Elections

  15. RightSideRedux

    This all doesn’t make sense if you are infering these things about folks here. My personal leanings on these issues are below each number.

    1- Powerful and Continuing Disloyalty towards their country

    Odd, people disloyal to their country don’t have their flag and the Statue of Liberty as symbols in the logo of their blog.

    2- Disdain for the others who express Patriotism

    I don’t honk when I see flags on cars, I don’t like noise pollution. My brother in law, a republican gave me a “support the troops” ribbon for my car, because he knows I have friends in the military. I thanked him for recognizing that liberals support the troops too.

    3- Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause

    You are scapegoating by listing these inane things.

    4- In Favor of a Weak Military

    I admit I would not want my daughter to enlist, I’m an over protective mother. I also don’t like Nukes – as weapons or energy sources. I our military has been weakened by BushCo. We could give more incentives to join the military and treat our troops better, we might be in a bterr place if BushCo stopped cutting support for the Vets.

    5- Rampant Obstructionism

    We’re letting you are your views here which is more than I can say for the Bush administration allowing others to air their views with out bashing and lies.

    6- Liberal Mass Media

    Republican Noise Machine

    7- Obsession with National Insecurity

    The Bush administration fighting “terror” over there to keep us safe here… Terror alerts galore, for no good reason. Obsessive compulsive describes the Bush administration well.

    8- Keeping Track of US Casualties for their own Self-Serving Purposes

    Mourning the dead is self serving? Kind of twisted in a right wing fashion to imply that.

    9- Captured Terrorists Rights are Protected

    It’s called the Geneva Convention – we uphold it, so our soldiers have their rights protected in turn.

    10- Military and Intelligence gathering Powers are Suppressed

    BushCo has made sure they have no one suppressing their “gathering”.

    11- Disdain for the Average Hard-Working American

    Hmmm… I’m a single mother (only parent) with a small (home) business and a blog – I work 24/7 and really do hate myself for it.

    12- Obsession with Comparing the President to Adolf Hitler

    I think Bush is worse than Nixon, thanks for asking.

    13- Rampant Liberal Eliteism

    See #11. My yatch is a toy boat I float in the bathtub of my 2 bedroom apartment, that I’ve lived in for 13 years. I used to date a limo driver and when I didn’t have a car for a year or so he would take me to the grocery store so that I could get food for my kid – does that count? How much more elite can I describe to you?

    14- Falsley Claim Fraudulent Elections

    Was it Washington State that a Republican contested an election in ’04?

    Please excuse me, RightSideRedux, if I don’t jump on the bandwagon and help you beat the drum to go into Iran – it’s Saturday night and I’m catching up on bookkeeping, and if I wasn’t I’d probably turn on some Santana and play my congas, but I might piss off my neighbors down stairs.

  16. RightSideRedux

    I forgot to mention, one of my prozed possessions is the flag that was on my father’s casket when he passed away. He was a WWII vet. All three of my brother in laws served, Korea & Vietnam.

    We’re so freakin elite around here, our writers include 2 struggling single mothers, a Marine, and a school teacher or two.

    Our readers are all hard working American’s who have great disdain for corporate greed.

    🙄

  17. I’m leaving now. Thanks for your time.

    Just a quick note. Elitism has little to do with money and more to do with your “disdain for corporate greed”.

    When you want to wake up to the reality that the enemy we face is larger than Al-Qaeda call me!

  18. RightSideRedux

    Thanks for the Rovian twist on elitism, but the only pushing elitist ideals around here is you.

    See Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elitism

  19. I’ve been out of town, so we’ll see if anyone is still reading this.

    RightSideRedux writes:

    TM: “They control no nation/state apparatus to speak of. You can’t exert totalitarianism if you don’t control the mechanisms (government) to enforce it.”

    Ummm… Iran. Former Taliban regime in Afghanastan…

    Iran is not a “terrorist organization or group” which my post clearly indicates, and which BushCo continually refer to. The Taliban are out of power. The point remains, “terrorists” don’t control the mechanisms of govt. to enforce a “totalitarian” or “authoritarian” ideology.

    TM: Sounds right, but again, they control no “legislative power”, which renders the point moot.”

    Ummm… Iran, Hezbollah (who has a seat in the Lebanese parliment).

    Ummm, Iran fails since “Iran” is not a “terrorist organization”. Hezbollah’s power is questionable. The point remains moot.

    TM: “You are moving the goalposts. Al-Qaeda is not Iran. Iran is not al-Qaeda.”

    Hey, your the one moving the goalposts. Show me where you mention Al-Qaeda in your original post. Terrorism was YOUR operative word. Please see the offical list of terrorist groups by the State Department.

    “Islamic Terrorists” one assumes is a reference to al-Qaeda…unless you are now broadening the definition to be “anyone I say is a terrorist”, which wouldn’t surprise me being that you are Bush apologist.

    And the State Department list, as Pamela said, is also irrelevant. States that “sponsor” terrorism and terrorist organizations that control states are mutually exclusive. And so that too fails.

    TM: “We agree there. I suppose the terrorists don’t like communists or liberals, which probably makes them Conservatives, doesn’t it? [snicker]

    Cute. Nice reply. Are you implying that as a progressive Democrat then, you side with the terrorists? Or you are a terrorist [snicker]

    Being a conserative I can see why A. you failed to get the joke, and B. failed to make one in response.

    I might suggest you take a refresher course in the meaning of terrorism and its history. Terrorists are criminals, and criminals need to be eliminated, as they have been throughout history, by good intel and vigorous law enforcement.

    Equating terrorism and “Nazism” remains laughable.

  20. Todd

    You missed all the fun!

  21. Ginny in CO says:

    September 3rd, 2006 at 9:46 am
    RightSideRedux Says:

    “Just a quick note. Elitism has little to do with money and more to do with your “disdain for corporate greed”.

    When you want to wake up to the reality that the enemy we face is larger than Al-Qaeda call me!”

    You may need a new dictionary and/or thesaurus. Definitions do change over time and in our fast paced society this happens more quickly than it used to. The Democrats do tend to think we are special, you know – the whites, blacks, Indians (both), homo and heterosexual, guys and gals, old folks, young folks, God fearing and atheists, rich, poor, Americans, Euros, Asians, Africans, South Americans, etc. I know I left out more, hopefully, you can get the point. We are a really exclusive, elite bunch. 🙄

    We have no problem with capitalism and profit – as Pamela pointed out, she runs a small business. I’m trying to start one but wonder if it will be worth the time – the financial future under the grip of Corporate, Financial, Political, Military and global organized crime is not too promising for the rest of us.

    That’s the reality that the enemy we face is larger than al-Qaeda I woke up to – after a lot of reading.

    “I’m leaving now. Thanks for your time.”

    ‘Bye, thanks for dropping in and giving us a laugh.